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Feb 21

The pre-schooler’s guide to entomology

My son loves bugs, and at the grand old age of three years and eight months, he has proclaimed himself as an expert. He can tell you all sorts of fun and fascinating facts that even seasoned Entomologists didn’t know. An encounter with a bug we’ve never seen before will have him announcing that we are in the presence of a Broccolite, Poomt (that’s the one with dots on it in case you were wondering) or some other fabulously named creature. The vast majority of them breathe fire or fart it, and they generally have an odd number of legs ranging from 3 to 19.

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A dolls pram is a most excellent receptacle for transporting cicadas home from your walk.

 

So you can imagine how much my son loves this time of year with all the cicadas shedding their exoskeletons. We’ve got tonnes of them on the trees in our garden, but that’s not enough. Every time we go for a walk, he has to collect as many as he can to bring home. They are then lovingly arranged on a log, or crushed up into little bits, depending on his mood that day.

My favourite cicada moment was on the walk to his kindergarten one afternoon when he collected every single cicada that we saw. And then he made a picture out of them.

For some strange reason his kindy teachers didn’t add this masterpiece to his portfolio, but that’s okay because it’s had the Royal treatment since coming home, taking pride of place on his bedroom wall, and being brought out for inspection by any visitors.  Sadly, the cicadas are looking a bit worse for wear now, because Little Miss likes to give the picture cuddles!

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One very proud little boy showing off his cicada artwork

In my bid to educate you, I now present some cicada facts that you probably weren’t aware of:

  • they have stingers
  • these stingers shoot out in a blaze of fire
  • cicadas ‘smash’ birds with their fiery stingers
  • dragons eat cicadas
  • they have 5 legs
  • cicadas were once butterflies, which is why they have wings
Please ensure that you memorise these facts as you may be required to take a spot quiz at some stage. Trust me, you don’t want to get any of the questions wrong!

As always, I value your comments so do feel free to leave one.  I can send you some cicada exoskeletons to show my appreciation.  No, wait, scrap that.  It appears they have all been crushed into the carpet that I’ve just vacuumed.

Unless… maybe you’d like some exoskeleton dust?  You never know, it could be an aphrodisiac, or maybe a cure for toddler whining.  If you could just pop over and remove it from my carpet I’d be grateful because I really can’t be arsed getting the vacuum cleaner out again.

 

1 comment

  1. Susan

    Mercy – February 22, 2012 at 6:50 am
    Cute that he likes bugs. My kids are scared of them and will scream if one gets too close. On the other hand, they will fearlessly walk up to any large cow they see on the street here. Something is wrong with this picture.

    WubBooMummy – February 23, 2012 at 8:44 am
    My two have loved all bugs since they were little – my son’s first love was for spiders and when he started walking, I spent a good portion of the day being dragged around the house to various spider locations he had found, where we would have to spend more time that I wanted to admiring them.
    I don’t know what they would do if they saw a cow on a street here. Actually I don’t know what I’d do either!
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    hollow tree ventures – February 23, 2012 at 7:23 am
    Very funny (and well-written)! My kids are more into worms and roly-polys, though they’re not opposed to cicadas. I, on the other hand, have an insane, irrational fear of them. They’re so huge, and buzzy, and too dumb to avoid getting tangled in your hair… Oh yeah, that’s where the fear came from. :)

    WubBooMummy – February 23, 2012 at 8:39 am
    Thank you. Yeah they’re not the brightest insects out there. I don’t mind them, except when they dive bomb my face. Both my kids love worms too – in fact yesterday I went outside to investigate what Miss Two was laughing about, only to discover she had managed to cut a worm in two and both bits were still wriggling. She thought it was hysterical. Ugh!
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    Shelly – February 24, 2012 at 11:33 am
    Great story. You had me there, I was getting all prepared to learn something about cicadas, because frankly I have no idea what one looks like. I grew up in Canada and I don’t remember them ever being there.
    In June last year, we adopted a Rhino beetle and called her Hissy. It cured me of my fear of Rhino beetles (the hissing used to always freak me out until I found out it is only the sound of them rubbing their wings against their abdomen when they’re frightened). Now I know lots about Rhino beetles (they like jelly), but I’m still trying to put off the kids from capturing another (they’re smelly). Hissy passed away peacefully in her sleep a few months ago.
    Thanks for linking up!

    WubBooMummy – February 24, 2012 at 1:16 pm
    I remember reading your post about Hissy. Hopefully your kids can capture something less smelly as their next pet.
    Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to comment.
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    Wendy – February 24, 2012 at 12:27 pm
    Funny as! Reminds me of Claude the Crow, who collected used bandaids and fingernail clippings. xx

    WubBooMummy – February 24, 2012 at 1:17 pm
    Ewwww. Think I’ll stick with the cicada exoskeletons. Thanks for stopping by.
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    Anna – February 24, 2012 at 2:44 pm
    Oh my gosh – that is so gross. Yet so stinkin’ cute!! Thanks for linking up to finding the funny! I’m pinning this on our Pinterest board, and sharing it on FB/Twitter next week.

    WubBooMummy – February 24, 2012 at 7:03 pm
    Aww thanks so much Anna :-)
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    Aliza – February 26, 2012 at 9:49 am
    What is it about cicadas? My son was TERRIFIED of bugs until whatever year that 14-year-cyle erupted and they were all over the place. I have a great pic of him pressing his face to the ground examining one…maybe he was 6?
    Anyway, great info – I shall transmit it to my family immediately so they are aware. Especially so they can stay away when they see the dragon coming to eat them. :) Love it!

    WubBooMummy – February 28, 2012 at 2:29 pm
    If I have saved just one person from becoming dragon dinner then my work has been worthwhile. You’re welcome!

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